The Monster Men

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 105

of returning to the spot
where he had last seen the girl, as he wished to do, he bore far to the
northeast of the place, and missed entirely the path which von Horn and
his Dyaks had taken from the long-house into the jungle and back.

All that day he urged his reluctant companions on through the fearful
heat of the tropics until, almost exhausted, they halted at dusk upon
the bank of a river, where they filled their stomachs with cooling
draughts, and after eating lay down to sleep. It was quite dark when
Bulan was aroused by the sound of something approaching from up the
river, and as he lay listening he presently heard the subdued voices of
men conversing in whispers. He recognized the language as that of the
Dyaks, though he could interpret nothing which they said.

Presently he saw a dozen warriors emerge into a little patch of
moonlight. They bore a huge chest among them which they deposited
within a few paces of where Bulan lay. Then they commenced to dig in
the soft earth with their spears and parangs until they had excavated a
shallow pit. Into this they lowered the chest, covering it over with
earth and sprinkling dead grass, twigs and leaves above it, that it
might present to a searcher no sign that the ground had recently been
disturbed. The balance of the loose earth which would not go back into
the pit was thrown into the river.

When all had been made to appear as it was before, one of the warriors
made several cuts and scratches upon the stem of a tree which grew
above the spot where the chest was buried; then they hastened on in
silence past Bulan and down the river.

As von Horn stood by the river's bank after his conversation with
Virginia, he saw a small sampan approaching from up stream. In it he
made out two natives, and the stealthiness of their approach caused him
to withdraw into the shadow of a large prahu which was beached close to
where he had been standing.

When the men had come close to the landing one of them gave a low
signal, and presently a native came down from the long-house.

"Who is it comes by night?" he asked. "And what want you?"

"News has just reached us that Muda Saffir is alive," replied one of
the men in the boat, "and that he sleeps this night in your long-house.
Is it true?"

"Yes," answered the man on shore. "What

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